Lean Times : Fat Times

With a knot in her stomach, Gina looked at the balance in her bank account for what seemed the hundredth time. How could it have gotten so low? With her credit card maxed out how in the world was she going to make it through the week? Maybe she wouldn’t have to eat. Or she could do as author, Henry Miller did; be a dinner guest at a different friend’s house every night of the week. The thought made her smile, it was certainly creative. No, she couldn’t be one of those people.

She wasn’t poor. She got paid the next week…. It’s just that after paying the bills she wouldn’t have much left and she’d be back where she was now.

She’s not alone. Everyone is worried about money these days. I’ve had several conversations with people describing exactly this situation. Hard working people just trying to scrape by.

Everyone has had lean times and fat times. There have been just as many books about the lean times as the fat times. I like Seth Godin’s thoughts on money in his blog.

Money isn’t real…. Our bank balance is merely a number, bits represented on a screen, but it’s also a signal and symptom. We tell ourselves a story about how we got that money, what it says about us, what we’re going to do with it and how other people judge us. We tell ourselves a story about how that might grow, and more vividly, how that money might disappear or shrink or be taken away.

And those stories, those very powerful unstated stories, impact the narrative of just about everything else we do.

I’m willing to bet that our money isn’t half as important as the stories we tell ourselves about it. How much we need it, the best way to get it, the best things to spend it on.

People have different stories of rich and poor; likewise, different stories of success. These people can be inter-generational. [largely influenced by their parents, I’m sure]. What some people can do without are non-negotiables for others. Believe it or not, not all people have phones, TV, or internet. While I have not been in contact with these people in a long time to know if they have survived, I have heard they are doing just fine.

I mentioned in another post, Prosperity, how my boyfriend recalls that on the El in Chicago, during times of economic boom all of the passengers read Ayn Rand and in tighter times everyone reads Grapes of Wrath.

You are writing your financial story. You can choose to live in abundance or in poverty. If you start to stress out, change your story.



8 thoughts on “Lean Times : Fat Times

  1. Boy, oh boy, can I relate to this post! Library assistants don't get paid a heck of a lot, and for me, having debts I'm paying off (slooooowly), I get that paycheck and by the time those bills are paid – well let's just say payday should be a happy day for me but all it really brings is headaches! 😦


  2. So true, Sabrina! I think many people are in our boat. I'm just really happy I have a job I like and that I can have fun at. A higher paying job that I dread would not be worth it to me….b


  3. Aw, this was an incredibly good post. Spending some time and actual effort to generate a very good article… but what can I say… I hesitate
    a lot and don’t seem to get anything done.


    • i, too, hesitate. i can be an over-thinker or an over-planner. [sometimes that can be a good thing, though. it’s better to be cautious than foolhardy, i suppose]. but it’s frustrating when i realize that nothing has been done ;). i’ve been trying to be more “impulsive,” not in the reckless sense, but just trying to overcome my hesitation & procrastination. if i think of something, i make myself do it right then or at least take the first steps.

      it has helped me to be more intentional about things. asking myself, “what outcome do i want from this? when i have clearly defined this, it makes decisions easier. [doesn’t always happen, though;)]

      thanks so much for reading & commenting!…b


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